Not too long ago, the Hilton Head-Bluffton area housing market was very hot. It was a seller’s market, characterized by low inventory, rising home prices, and bidding wars. It was very challenging for many buyers to find and buy a house. 

Will the New Year be kinder to buyers? Will house hunting and buying be easier?

While no one can say for sure, we are beginning to see some real estate activity that is giving us a picture of what the housing market could look like in 2023. 

Here are some examples of these industry indicators:

• Stabilizing interest rates. Most housing experts say that they are hopeful that interest rates will level off in 2023 to around 5% or 6%.

• Affordable housing. Home buyers might have to tighten their budget a little and not get as much home for the money when the rates were at 3% (but 5% is still a very attractive mortgage rate).

• Home prices rising. Current trends indicate that home prices will continue to increase in 2023, but at a slower rate than in 2022, resulting in still affordable housing.

• More homes to choose from. Inventory increased during 2022 and predictions and projections all point to an increase in inventory in 2023 for new construction and resale homes.

• Home buyers get a break. With more homes for sale and an increase in competition, it is possible that prospective home buyers may be able to get good deals on good homes.

• Housing demand increases. On the other hand, if the up-north demand for Lowcountry housing continues to increase, sellers might still have the advantage.

• The politics of it all. If the political climate gets better and the country comes together to improve the economy, the good psychology of it all will be very good for both buyers and sellers.

• COVID fears aside. From all that I have seen, read and heard, buyers and sellers feel more confident that they can proceed with their real estate plans and stay healthy while doing so.

Even after reading all of the above, it is important to note that housing market conditions might vary significantly by location and community.

Larry Stoller is a broker and Realtor with Real Estate Five of the Lowcountry.,